Fossil’s first Wear OS 3 watch is a wellness-focused Gen 6

On the heels of the Pixel Watch, Fossil has announced that it is launching its first-ever Wear OS 3 watch: the Gen 6 Wellness Edition. It also introduces a new Wellness mobile app for health and fitness tracking, but unfortunately this watch doesn’t feature Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon W5 Plus platform. The Gen 6 Wellness Edition costs $299 and will be available October 17.

The Gen 6 Wellness Edition looks like your typical Fossil device with its fashionable smartwatch aesthetic. It comes in a 44mm case with a 1.28-inch always-on OLED display, as well as three color options: black, silver or rose gold. It is powered by the latest Snapdragon Wear 4100 Plus chip with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of onboard storage. That’s the same as the one in the standard Gen 6.

As for what the Wellness Edition brings to the table, Wear OS 3 is the big kahuna. So far, it’s only available on the Pixel Watch, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 and 5 lineups, and the Montblanc Summit 3. Fossil has made the vast majority of Wear OS watches under its various brands (i.e., Skagen, Michael Kors, etc.), so it’s likely we’ll see a lot more Wear OS 3 options in the coming months. It also means a new UI and watch navigation likely similar to what we saw at Montblanc Summit 3. The watch will also pair with the redesigned Fossil Smartwatches app that launched earlier this summer with the Gen 6 Hybrid.

SpO2 display on the Fossil Gen 6 Wellness Edition

Spo2 will be a new health feature on the Wellness edition Image: Fossil

Google Assistant on the Fossil Gen 6 Wellness Edition

Google Assistant is showing up on the watch, but isn’t available yet and Fossil doesn’t know when it will be. Image: Fossil

As far as smart features go, Wear OS 3 offers a better selection of optimized third-party apps in the Play Store. In the press release, Fossil highlighted apps like YouTube Music, Spotify, Facer and Amazon Alexa. (Alexa was introduced on the Gen 6 earlier this year.) According to Android Central, it doesn’t look like the Wellness edition will have Google Assistant. Fossil spokesman Robyn Wedgeworth confirmed this to The Verge, noting that the company isn’t sure when Assistant will be available for its Wear OS 3 watches. It’s a puzzling omission that was also reflected on the Fitbit Sense 2 and Montblanc Summit 3, suggesting that Google still has some work to do here.

The other big update is the new Wellness app, which gives Fossil watches a boost in the health and fitness tracking department. That includes SpO2 measurements, cardio fitness estimates using VO2 max, automatic workout detection, heart rate zones, improved sleep tracking and continuous heart rate monitoring outside of workouts. Plenty of other smartwatches introduced these features ages ago, but Fossil is a bit more crippled by Wear OS 2 and older Snapdragon Wear chips. It’s encouraging to see Wear OS 3 allowing Fossil to meaningfully catch up on health, even if it doesn’t have the latest chip.

Belts for the Fossil Gen 6 Wellness Edition

It’s not a Fossil if you don’t have about 10,000 strap options. Image: Fossil

As the name, features and specs suggest, this isn’t so much a new flagship series as it is a repackaged Gen 6. It looks like we’ll have to wait a little longer for the Gen 7 series to arrive, hopefully with newer hardware to get around the wearables. of Fossil competitive. While that’s somewhat disappointing, it’s not surprising. When Fossil switched its watches from the 3100-powered Gen 5 lineup to the 4100-powered Gen 6, it launched the budget Gen 5E and Gen 5 LTE in the meantime.

The Wellness edition will be available October 17, and Android Central quotes Fossil as saying that this is when Wear OS 3 upgrades to 4100-powered Fossil watches will roll out. That includes the Michael Kors Gen 6 and the Skagen Falster Gen 6. We reached out to Google, but Wedgeworth also confirmed the timing. Google has always said the upgrade would come this fall, and there’s not much reason to wait now that the Pixel Watch hits the shelves. In any case, it’s been a busy fall full of Wear OS 3 news – and it looks like that won’t stop anytime soon.

Update, October 13, 2:45 PM ET: Updated with answers from Fossil regarding the Google Assistant and Wear OS 3 upgrade timing.

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